This natural wonder from Down Under is a prized addition to any fish only aquarium and is often the centerpiece addition. Relatively hardy and easy to keep, the Scribbled Angelfish can often be easily bullied and should not be kept with aggressive tankmates. Once adjusted to aquarium life, they will patrol their territory quite seriously. The Scribbled Angelfish males differ morphologically from the females. The males will usually have clearly defined horizontal dark blue 'scribbled' stripes down their sides and are longer in body, where the females will usually have more a randomized dark blue pattern on their sides and will usually be shorter in body length. Most Scribbled Angelfish start life as females and will undergo the change to male coloration when they reach roughly 4-6 inches in size.
Most large angelfish are well known for nipping at large-polyped stony corals and some soft corals (e.g. Xenia) as well as tridacnid clam mantles. It is not considered reef safe though some specimens have been reported to live peacefully without harassing small-polyped stony corals and soft corals of a more 'noxious' nature.
The Scribbled Angelfish requires a large area to swim, so it needs a 100 gallon or larger aquarium with many hiding places and live rock for grazing. Not a good candidate for a reef tank, the Scribbled Angelfish is prone to nip at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles. It may be shy at first and should not be placed with aggressive tank mates. Once acclimated, however, it may become more aggressive.
Water Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4.Normal temperatures for marine fish lie between 75 and 79 degrees.
The Scribbled Angelfish groups Up to 7 inches in size. Dwarf Scribbled Angelfish Are generally available at 2 inches.
Habitat: A very common fish in Central Pacific islands, it is rare in the Australian-New Guinea region.
Specific Care Information: Dwarf Scribbled Angelfish are generally peaceful fish but will often quarrel with members of their own species and even genus if they look similar enough. Though there are reports generalizing this species are 'reef safe', we strongly advise to add them to a reef with extreme caution. The reason for this is that many of Scribbled species will behave like model citizens for a while, but one day will go after corals and clams for no reason. This may have something to do with the Dwarf Scribbled Angelfish being predominately plankton eaters as juveniles. An underfed adult may attempt to try something new and find that clams and corals are it's newest favorite diet. We recommend purchasing the youngest specimen available in hopes it settles down and learns to eat a captive diet prior to learning that corals and clams are a tasty treat.
It is important to provide Dwarf Scribbled Angelfish with plenty of good quality cured live rock and a well aquascaped aquarium with caves, archways and overhangs to swim through or hide in. Especially if there will be more than one Dwarf Scribbled Angelfish in the same aquarium. Members of the Centropyge genus are referred to as Dwarf Angelfish because of their smaller size in relation to their larger Chaetodontoplus, Genicanthus, Holacanthus and Pomacanthus cousins.
Diet: Feed the Scribbled Angelfish a varied diet of meaty marine foods such as shrimp, mysis shrimp, clam, scallop, squid, and silversides. Be sure to offer marine algae such as Spirulina and dried sheets of nori. Feeding nori is best accomplished by tearing off a strip and inserting it into a lettuce clip or between your cleaning magnets. To encourage good coloration, it is recommended to feed commercially prepared Angelfish formula that contains marine sponge material. In order to maintain the proper amount of body fat for this fish, it will likely need to be fed 2 - 3 times daily.